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Inland Southern California Brewers Guild Beer Fest

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The first annual Inland Southern California Brewers Guild Beer Fest was unlike any beer fest that I have ever been to.

Of course the beer fest had familiar images like E-Z-Up tents with jockey boxes underneath dispensing liquid joy, food vendors that smelled unbelievable, and music playing from a live band.  What was completely different from other festivals was the quality and style of beer that was being poured.  This festival was put on by the brewers guild itself and it felt like the brewers were putting on the show for each other as much as for the patrons.b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4459.JPG

Let’s start with the location which was incredible.  This event was held an empty hanger on the Redlands Municipal Airport property.  Patrons had to walk from the entrance gate about 100 yards or so past some of the planes that were moved out of the hanger to get to the beer tents.  On the way people passed the food vendors and the stage where several groups were playing throughout the event.  The best part about being inside the hanger is that the sun wasn’t beating down everyone standing in line!

Normally I would add a little bit about the food vendors and the musicians who were at the event; unfortunately for this article, I didn’t even leave the beer area!  I can say that the food that I had was really good, unfortunately I don’t remember the vendor because someone brought it to me.

The reason that I didn’t leave the hanger area was because of the beer.  Like I said before, the event was by the brewers themselves.  These guys brought out some of the best beers that I’ve ever had at a beer fest.  I want to provide a glimpse of some of the beers that were brought out to this festival but just know that if the brewery isn’t specifically called out in this write up it doesn’t mean they didn’t bring something great.  It just means that these posts have word limits.  At the end of the article I have a complete list of the breweries that were there and where possible a list of the beers that they brought, if the name doesn’t give away the style I added that too.  I’m sorry in advance but I didn’t get all of the brewer’s beer lineups and I apologize.b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4451.JPG

Let’s go on with some of these beers that caused me to get to the point where I forget to get pictures of all the offerings available!  I want to start out with a thank you to Coachella Valley Brewing Company’s Head Brewmaster Chris Anderson for the 6 fantastic beers that these guys brought out for the event.  While they were all great, the one that really stood out to me was the Monument on Fire which was a rye double IPA base which had Hawaiian pink guava and mango added in secondary.  Because that’s not enough, they decided to kick it up even more by adding New Mexico hatch chilies and jalapeños grown in the Chris’s garden that were roasted and peeled!  It had a mild chili flavor and light throat burn at the finish but the sweetness from the guava and mango paired perfectly with it!  I loved this beer as a unique brew that shows a ton of creativity!b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_2027.JPG

Since this event was right before October, I have to give a special shout out to the best Oktoberfest style at the event.  In my opinion, that goes to Wiens Brewing Company for their Wienfest!  What I really liked about this beer was that it stuck to tradition.  Most Oktoberfest beers that you see around are not a traditional German style; they are often changed to be more “American” with bigger hop flavors and grain bills featuring crystal malt for a caramel sweetness.  This one was a stand out in the smooth but rich malt notes and a slight underlying sweetness that wasn’t cloying.  This beer was specially brewed for an event out at Wiens (Wiensfest) so make sure to get out there if you can!

I want to talk now about three beers that knocked my socks off both in flavor complexity, but also in alcoholic punch.  First up is Ironfire and their Boot Hill 6-Killer Barrel Aged Stout.  b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_2033.JPGThis was a flavor exploration that included strong roasty and chocolate notes but then had a surge of bourbon hinted goodness.  One a side note, the jockey box cover for Ironfire rocks, it’s a barrel that they modified!  The next up is Ritual Brewing Fat Hog (Barleywine) aged in Boulevardier cocktail barrels.  This is a true heavy hitter tipping the scales at 12.0% with 89 IBUs.  The barrel is adding a nice fruitiness to Barleywine including flavors of bitters.  This was a limited release with only the occasional brew pub offering so for these guys to break it out for a festival was really something special.  Speaking of special, the last brewery that I wanted to mention on the knock your socks off category was the 2013 Pugachev’s Cobra Barrel Roll.  This was a bourbon soaked brownie, there’s no other way that will give the visualization of what this beer was.  This was a bottle (featuring a cage and cork none-the-less) release which made it extra special.  Really good showing from everyone on the big beers at the event!b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_2060.JPG

The last beer that I want to specifically mention is the Wicks Brewing Angry Koala Double IPA.  This is made with a simple grain bill that measures in at 8.2% ABV but provides a strong stand for the hops.  The Angry Koala name comes from the fact that this beer is hopped with only hops from the southern hemisphere including Summer, Mosaic, Kohatu and Moteka.  This beer was a showcase of these hops to say the least, really a great beer.

All in all, this event was fantastic.  A big thank you to all the brewers who came out to the event for bringing out an amazing assortment of beers.  I want to leave everyone with a very simple statement that will express my overall opinion of this beer fest.

 

Don't be the one to miss this event NEXT year!!!

 

Brewery List for your Jealous Enjoyment!

Craft Brewing Company

Warlock IPA

Fallen Angel Blonde

Wicks Brewing Company

Bard’s Song (Brown Ale)

Angry Koala (Double IPA)

Ritual Brewing Company

Cocktail Barrel-Aged Fat Hog (Barleywine)

Single Rye IPA

Brew Rebellion

Raspberry Honey Wheat

Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout

Coachella Valley Brewing

Monument on Fire (Rye Double IPA)

Desert Swarm (Belgian Honey Double Wit)

Harvester (Double IPA)

Oasis Ale (Apple Ale)

Hanger 24

Betty IPA

Polycot (Wheat-wine)

2013 Pugachev Cobra (Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout)

No Clue Brew

Belgian Honey Blonde

Cucamonga Cream Ale

Ironfire Brewing Company

51/50 IPA

Nuhell IPL

Boot Hill 6 Killer (Barrel Aged Stout)

I&I Brewing Company

Golden Ale

Robust Porter

Wiens Brewing Company

Insomnia IPA

Wiensfest Lager (Oktoberfest)

Dale Brothers

Mango IPA

Red Ale

Refuge Brewery

Blood Orange Wit

Citra Saison

Firestone Walker

Wookey Jack (Black IPA)

Opal (Saison

Inland Empire Brewing Company

German Lager

Habsburg Hefeweizen

Thompson Brewing

Kentucky Common

Pale Ale

Imperial Stout

Stone

Go To IPA

Levitation

Milk Stout

Area 51 Brewing

Did not get beer list accidentally

Packinghouse Brewing Company

Did not get beer list accidentally

Kat Daddy Brewery

Did not get beer list accidentally

 

 

Comments

  • Jason Torres
    Jason Torres Tuesday, 07 October 2014

    One of the only writers that I know of that takes the time to write down all the beers at the event. You sir are truly dedicated to your work, cheers!

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